CrossFit gym first to offer unique fitness program to Streeterville

(Published May 30, 2019)

By Jesse Wright

Frank Dowie, owner of MagMile CrossFit, likes to think his new CrossFit gym has something for everyone and every part of everyone can get fit.

Since the gym opened in late April at 7 E Illinois St., Dowie has seen a steady stream of various clients.

A traveler can lift kettlebells or do calisthenics in the morning, as a trio of business travelers from Mexico did one recent morning for less than $30. For the locals who love workouts, there’s a $240 option offering unlimited access to the facility and courses. There’s an $80 a week option or for $100 users get five classes.

Dowie’s gym is as versatile as CrossFit, a branded fitness program that aims to work out the whole body, combining fitness philosophy with community. Greg Glassman developed CrossFit in 2000 and in the last 20 years, the workout has developed a dedicated cult following.

“A big part of CrossFit is, CrossFitters love CrossFit,” Dowie said. “They don’t want to go to a traditional gym. It doesn’t scratch that itch.”

Dowie said he got into the CrossFit program in 2011, and fell in love with it. CrossFit doesn’t include many machines. Rather, it may involve lifting weights or throwing weighted balls and other activities that combine aerobics along with muscle development. But it’s also about mutual support and interacting with other people. Dowie said people don’t workout at a CrossFit gym wearing earbuds, and there are no mirrors on the wall, so members don’t focus on themselves. It is about other people.

“CrossFit is built on community,” Dowie said. “These people become your friends. This isn’t the kind of thing where you put your headphones in. You encourage each other. It’s a very positive environment and I loved that aspect of it.”

Dowie said many gyms—including his—do regular charity drives. In May, MagMile CrossFit raised money for local veterans and in June, he has hopes to raise money for a local gay pride nonprofit.  

Dowie, a Streeterville resident, said he opened MagMile CrossFit in the community because there’s not another CrossFit gym in Streeterville.

“I’m a resident here and I love this neighborhood,” he said. “I’m excited to bring our community to the community. I think it would be a benefit to the neighborhood.”

For more information, visit, email or call 312-577-9669.

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